I believe we had a great stand, which welcomed the customers. It was a great environment to do business. On the show we had digital products that catered to the packaging, publishing and the commercial segments. Importantly, among the digital players we are the only company that has hybrid solutions.
The imprinting heads that we have through the inkjet systems; we can help customers add digital printing capabilities on their presses or their finishing appliances. This can be done with a great balance of productivity, cost and quality, three factors that can bring in profitability.
Our CTPs continue to be the leaders in the market place as well as our solutions and plates, providing a flexible and cost-effective solution. We did present Prinergy 6, a new version of Prinergy that provides further collaboration with customers online as well as better connectivity to digital printing. And also offered a new package called the Achieve EM , which is a combination of platesetter, plates and Prinergy software. Of course, there was the launch of the Sonora, the third generation of processless plates.
On the digital printing, we have continued to invest in Nexpress, adding features like ability to print gold, pearlescent and florescent besides increasing the print size to 14x36inch. And in a year’s time we plan to offer a turbo option that will almost double the speed depending on the type of jobs being printed.
All the products launched are commercially available, and would be available in India at the earliest. The reason is, these products are initially launched in the US and Europe. We then plan our production capacity to supply to other regions like Asia.
The Solora for example, will be tested and then launched, which is likely to be commercially available early next year.As a company the greatest challenge at Drupa was, and keeping in mind that we had only few months ago entered into Chapter 11, how would the customer interact with us at the show? But I must tell you that from the day one to the end of the show, the interaction kept on growing and the theme – yellow changes everything – focused on demonstrating different capabilities that could bring in changes in the business models.
Though the attendance was less, as it was the case for all the exhibitors, but the quality of visitors was very high. Kodak started preparation ahead of Drupa, announcing the launches in March itself, working in pipeline of customers and educating them about the new launches. So, many of them came with clear expectations. This helped us use the Drupa platform to close orders, have signing ceremonies and celebrations.
When we designed the growth for the year, we expected Drupa to of course help us deliver on the results. However, I must say, it exceeded our expectation.
Although I understand people are saying that it was an inkjet Drupa, but we see that a bit differently. Kodak launched inkjet and made it commercially available in 2008. We also launched a new technology – Stream, an inkjet system, in 2008. For us we see this as a Drupa for Asia, because we had higher bonds with Asian visitors and second we see that as a Drupa of Kodak inkjet, we reached a maturity level, offering a good balance of productivity, cost and quality.
For example, one of our customers in Japan, a transactional printer with three Prosper 5000 machines, closed an order for the fourth Prosper 5000. So when a customer acquires a fourth machine, he has reached the bar of productivity, cost and quality.
My takeaway: For Kodak, Drupa 2012 has been a showcase of demonstrating technologies that it can deliver in the short term – today to 12 months from now. That puts Kodak in a great position for the customers.